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Cupset: New York City FC II defeat Hartford Athletic in extra time

The Baby Blues advance in the US Open Cup after 16-year-old Maximo Carrizo scored the game-winner in the 109th minute.

Striker Taylor Calheria's brace helped send the Baby Blues into the next round | Courtesy

New York City FC II advance in a thrilling 2024 US Open Cup match against Hartford Athletic. After Hartford dominated the Baby Blues on a rainy night at Trinity Health Stadium for most of regulation time, two goals from 21-year-old Taylor Calheria and one from 16-year-old Maximo Carrizo send New York City through to the Round of 32.

NYCFC II are the only MLS NEXT Pro team left in the tournament after Carolina Core lost on the road and Chicago Fire II lost at home.


New York City FC II: 18 shots, 6 shots on target, 43% possession, 460 passes, 81% pass accuracy, 17 fouls, 6 saves

Hartford Athletic: 23 shots, 9 shots on target, 57% possession, 619 passes, 87% pass accuracy, 14 fouls, 3 saves

• New York City, Taylor Calheira 63'
• Hartford, Romario Williams 81' (pen)
• Hartford, Deshane Beckford 92'
• New York City, Taylor Calheira 99'
• New York City, Maximo Carrizo 109'

Attendance: 2,5117

Let the kids play

Unlike NYCFC II’s last open cup game, no notable first-team players were in the lineup. The only change from the team’s 6-2 demolition of New England Revolution II on Sunday in MLS NEXT Pro league play was goalkeeper Tomás Romero playing instead of Alex Rando.

The first half was all Hartford, NYCFC II lucky to go into the halftime break even at 0-0. Hartford were dangerous from the opening whistle, with two excellent chances in the opening five minutes. A later shot found the back of the net but was ruled out for offsides.

The one-way traffic continued throughout the half, with Hartford holding 61% possession at the break outshooting NYCFC 11 to 3. Four of those eleven shots were on target while the Baby Blues failed to register any challenges on the Hartford net.

Hartford dominated, but were wasteful

Hartford started the second half where they left off, and dominated play. Between the 57th and 60th minutes, Hartford could have – and arguably should have – scored three times. Defenders Christian McFarlane and Drew Baiera were both beaten on different chances allowing direct shots that either missed, or that forced a save out of Romero. Another chance saw a cross meet Hartford’s striker perfectly within the six-yard box, but the mishit finish didn’t challenge New York City’s net.

But the Baby Blues found a way to score. In the 62nd minute completely against the run of play, Calheira played JJ Jimenez out wide. The 22-year-old Jimenez danced through Hartford’s defenders before laying the ball off to Calheira for an easy tap-in to give New York City a one-goal lead.

Ten minutes later, Hartford broke through on goal. But 20-year-old striker Mamadou Dieng’s strike was parried by Romero and snatched inches off the line.

In the 78th minute, Hartford finally got their break as 18-year-old center-back Alexander Hauschild chopped down former Major League Soccer striker Romario Williams in the box. Williams stepped up and converted the spot kick to give Hartford the equalizer.

A heated end

With the game being even at regulation, the teams marched into extra time.

Both squads came out swinging. In the first minute of extra time, Jiménez picked up on a loose Hartford touch and fired a shot that deflected straight to teammate Johnny Shore. But the 17-year-old failed to finish the chance.

One minute later, Hartford winger and Jamaica international Deshane Beckford drove into the box and cut on his right foot, slotting the shot past Romero to give the home side a 2-1 lead.

It looked as if Hartford’s sustained pressure was going to keep their side ahead. But just seven minutes later, Jiménez and Calheira combined once again. A Jiménez cross was perfectly latched onto by Calheira, who headed the ball into even the game at two goals apiece.

It was Calheira’s second goal of the game and his third of the tournament. He’s now even with Jiménez, and both are in a three-way tie for second place among goal-scorers playing for teams still competing in the 2024 US Open Cup.

Extra time became a thrilling back-and-forth. It turned in the favor of the baby Blues when Jiménez unleashed a left-footed strike that was parried straight to Carrizo. His subsequent shot gave NYCFC II what proved to be the game-winner in the 109th minute.

Tempers flared at the end of the match as multiple hard tackles led to red cards shown to Hartford’s Marcus Epps and Deshane Beckford, and New York City’s Christopher Tiao.

It was a regulation smash-and-grab that turned into an overtime upset decided by a 109th-minute winner from the 16-year-old Carrizo’s 109th. It was all you could want from a US Open Cup matchup and more.

The Baby Blues will now take their three-game tournament winning streak into the Round of 32, which will take place on May 7 or 8. New York City FC’s next opponent is yet to be determined.